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Greece uses coal to escape climate-threatening energy crisis

Greece uses coal to escape climate-threatening energy crisis

  • Greece thought it could close all coal units by 2023.
  • The 2023 deadline has been pushed back to 2025 now.
  • Greece fights forest fires on mainland and islands

Greece has worked hard to wean itself off coal, the most polluting fossil fuel and the main cause of the climate problem. However, the nation is delaying those phase-out plans with other European nations in response to the energy crisis, which has escalated since Russia began its assault on Ukraine.

Greece thought it could close all its coal units by 2023 just a year ago. In Western Macedonia, which produces more than half of the country’s electricity, it intended to build one last coal-fired power plant this year.

By 2025, the brand new Ptolemaida 5 power station would be powered by natural gas, another fossil fuel that contributes to pollution but is often lower in carbon than lignite, or lignite, found in this region of Greece .

Now the whole timeline is in shambles.

The 2023 deadline to stop using coal at all current facilities has been pushed back to 2025, and the new Ptolemaida facility will likely have to burn coal until at least 2028, according to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

And while Vladimir Putin closes the taps to the EU, Greece plans to increase its coal production by 50% over the next two years to compensate for the lack of natural gas.

The changes are already evident. Coal produced 253.9 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in June 2021. In June of this year, coal accounted for 468.1 GWh, almost double.

And all of this is happening as the nation battles wildfires on the mainland and its islands that are fueled by a sweltering heat wave that has been amplified by climate change, which is primarily caused by human activity in the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal. .

People have been pulled from beaches after being rescued from burning homes, and business owners on islands like Lesvos are preparing financially for a tough holiday period.

When government goals are constantly changing, it can be difficult to make important decisions in life, like where to live and work. It is currently not an option for Mitsaris to leave the village where he was born and raised.

Greek officials are trying to persuade the public that their return to coal is only temporary.

Energy company PPC has given thousands of people in Western Macedonia, where nearly one in five people need a job, a stable job.

Many people have already moved to other cities or even other countries in search of better lifestyles.

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